Ashlyn Ramos (second from left) running at a track meet
Photo: Don Paul
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Ashlyn Ramos (second from left) was an All-Patriot League First Team honoree in 2021 and broke the school record in the 10K.
Fast Footwork
by Andrew Faught
Growing up in Sammamish, Wash., the daughter of marathon-running parents, Ashlyn Ramos ’23 would cheer her mom and dad from the sidelines on race day.

But of one thing she was certain: “I really hated running when I was little.”

That’s until her parents signed her up for a “fun run” in elementary school. Ramos won the race and, with the victory, a pair of running shoes. “Oh, I’m kind of good at this,” she recalls thinking. That pivotal moment spurred her to join the cross-country teams in middle school and high school.

In time, Ramos brought her fleet feet to Bucknell’s track and field and cross-country teams. In March, she was the lone member of the women’s cross-country team to compete at the 2020-21 National Championships in Stillwater, Okla.

She ran the 6-kilometer race in 21:47.4, finishing 141st on a tough, hilly course that some observers called the hardest nationals course ever. Cross- country is a famously variable sport, with course differences, temperature and wind all affecting an athlete’s performance.

Ramos says she was disappointed by her first-ever nationals appearance. “I tweaked my back a few days out and ended up having a pretty low-mileage week, which is a little bit unusual for me,” she says, but she noted that she’s already looking ahead. “I’d like to go back to nationals next year.”

An All-Patriot League First Team honoree in 2019, Ramos sticks to a game plan that relies on stamina and crafty pacing.

“While I might not be able to get out superfast in the first half of the race, I’m pretty good at pressing in the middle and slowly getting faster when other people are hurting,” she says. “When runners get tired, I use my strength to pull ahead.”

This year’s cross-country season was a campaign like no other, due to COVID-19. The season — with an abbreviated schedule — was moved from the fall to the spring. Ramos trains year-round for cross-country and track (in which she competes in the 3K and 5K), so the changes didn’t affect her conditioning, she notes.

Still, she says, it’s been challenging to train with so many Bucknell athletes conditioning simultaneously. “But Athletics has very strict rules about wearing masks and other COVID protocols. Our coach has us meeting and running in small groups at separate times, and we have to be selective about which meets we compete in,” she explains.

Ramos is also focused on academics. She chose a computer science major because there are plentiful work opportunities, she says, a point borne out as she interns for the second consecutive summer with a technology firm.

Ramos says her decision to enroll at Bucknell was all part of her life plan. When she was little, she and her twin sister, Kyleigh, vowed to attend East Coast institutions (Kyleigh is at Boston College).

But Ramos didn’t choose Bucknell on a lark.

“I had a pretty specific set of criteria,” she says. “I knew I wanted a smaller liberal arts school, and Bucknell has incredible academics — but it’s also a competitive DI school. When I visited, I just loved it.”

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Read about more Bucknellians headed to the Olympic and Paralympic Games
Rayven Sample ’24
Instant Replay
Greatest career highlight
“Going to NCAAs for cross-country and getting to race the best girls in the country was awesome.”
Balancing Cross-country and Studies
“I am very busy, but going to practice is a great way to take a break from studying and relieve stress.”
Finding Motivation
“Showing up to practice every day and working out with my teammates motivates me, because we can all push one another to be our best.”
Lessons Learned on the Course that Spill into the Classroom
“The effort that you put into something will always show through, even if it happens slowly.”